Rabbi Sacks on The Mutation of Antisemitism

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U.S. Showing ‘Many’ Genocide Warning Signs Under Trump, Expert Says: ‘I Am Very, Very Worried’

From Newsweek:  https://www.newsweek.com/us-showing-many-genocide-warning-signs-donald-trump-expert-very-worried-1483817


A defense analyst and genocide expert has published a warning about the direction of American society and politics in the age of President Donald Trump, identifying characteristics that may one day facilitate atrocities against minority groups.

Brynn Tannehill—a former naval aviator who is now an academic and trans rights activist—posted a Twitter thread on Thursday setting out the early genocide warning signs, noting that the U.S. was still some way from catastrophe but that the nation’s direction is deeply concerning.

“I am very, very worried,” Tannehill wrote. “I am not saying it will definitely happen, but the necessary conditions are there, and many of the precursor events are in motion… My spouse and our kids are Canadian. We’re laying the groundwork to go back there in 2021, even if I don’t have a job waiting.”

There are “common themes and patterns” in genocidal societies, Tannehill said, many of which are not generally prevalent in the U.S. She noted that for the most part such atrocities occur in economically struggling nations where living standards are falling.

Politically though, Tannehill noted the U.S. trend towards divisive rhetoric and policies under President Donald Trump, who has been repeatedly accused of various forms of racism and has pursued a nativist agenda.

“The politicians enacting it are populists who benefit from stirring Us vs. Them narratives, placing blame for the woes of the nation on others who are somehow less worthy,” she wrote. “They yearn for a mythological past [without] these people. It’s a highly viable tactic for shoring up support.”

The undesirables are smeared in a variety of ways, whether labeled criminals, sex offenders, threats to women and children or “generally unworthy of empathy,” Tannehill continued. Anyone who defends such groups is then demonized.

Propaganda further vilifies a target group, dehumanizing them and enabling “public safety measures” such as removing them from government jobs and revoking security clearances, Tannehill said.

A government might also start publishing statistics detailing the crimes committed by the target group while failing to prosecute—or pardoning—those who commit crimes against the minority.

This also requires a government to co-opt the courts and ensure they will not stand in its way. With a minority already excluded from government and security roles, it is easier to then block them from the education system, job market and even deny them healthcare.

“You can create vast zones where the minority is forbidden from public life,” Tannehill said. “Make them carry/wear IDs identifying them as ‘other’…If this sounds familiar, the Germans modeled their 1930’s laws on those used to keep the US South segregated.”

Court support will then allow the revocation of basic civil rights, further facilitating harassment, forced disappearances and eventually mass murder.

Tannehill identified two characteristics that are the final—and most concerning—warnings for a society nearing genocide. The first is when members of the persecuted minority “voluntarily pack up and leave the country, or actively hide who they are.

“This is the beginnings of cultural genocide: the minority disappears from the culture because they have either left, or have gone underground,” Tannehill explained.

“Whether it’s acts of military aggression, bellicose leaders, assassinating journalists, putting foreign nationals in filthy over crowded camps that are black holes; the country on the verge of genocide is looking to see if they can provoke a reaction,” she said. “It almost never comes.”

More often than not, other nations stand by and allow the genocide to occur. “In part, because the groups targeted are ones that other countries simply don’t care about either,” Tannehill explained.

“Jews, Tutsis, gays, Roma, South Sudanese, the disabled, mentally ill, poverty stricken immigrants; they historically aren’t worth starting a fight over.”

Once the government knows it has impunity “they move to planning on how to get rid of the targeted population.” At this point, the method is irrelevant, Tannehill wrote.

“It’s way too late to do anything by this point, and that it doesn’t follow a pattern. Sometimes it’s camps and neglect. Guns. Machetes. Killing fields. Death marches. Sometimes it’s all of the above.”

Once minority groups are fleeing and a government is testing international response, Tannehill said “it’s probably already too late. I can’t think of a time the world cut off a genocide at the pass, and global sentiment against refugees…means few escape.”

“Are you worried yet? You probably should be,” she concluded.

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A Georgia lawmaker wants to make treatments for transgender kids a felony, but doctors say that could put lives at risk

From Business Insider:  https://www.businessinsider.com/transgender-treatment-felony-under-new-georgia-bill

Ginny Ehrhart, a Republican member of the George House of Representatives, introduced a bill that would make it a felony for doctors to administer transgender-related healthcare to children.

Jan 2, 2020

A Georgia politician wants to make it a crime for children to receive any transgender-related healthcare, which would include puberty blockers — a treatment that’s reversible and has been shown to improve mental health. 

When the new legislative session starts in January, Ginny Ehrhart, a Republican member of the George House of Representatives, will likely pick up where she left off — advocating for the Vulnerable Child Protection Act. If it passes, the bill would make it a felony for medical professionals to administer trans-related drugs or procedures.

“This form of child abuse is becoming a serious problem,” Ehrhart said in a press release in October. “We are talking about children who have not reached the legal age of consent, yet are being subjected to life-altering, irreversible surgeries and drug treatments that render them sterile and permanently disfigured.”

Medical experts who have written guidance on transgender healthcare for families, pediatricians, and mental health professionals say that Ehrhart and other legislators who’ve proposed similar bills are spreading myths about the side effects of puberty blockers and the accepted general course of treatment for transgender children. The bill could put an already vulnerable population at an even greater risk for suicide, and other mental health issues.

Interventions may become more significant in light of new research, which found that transgender children may be able to develop their gender identity at an early age much in the same way as children who identify with the sex they were assigned at birth do, according to a recent study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences .

But medical interventions don’t actually begin until puberty. Prior to that stage, experts advise against starting any hormone treatment, and encourage families to begin the process by meeting with a pediatrician, a pediatric endocrinologist, and a mental health professional.

They also suggest transgender children try non-invasive, “social” measures, which could include changing a hairstyle, clothing, name and pronoun.

This enables a child to “feel comfortable and live in an authentic manner,” said Dr. Elyse Pine, lead physician of the Gender Journeys of Youth program at Chase Brexton Health Care in Baltimore, Maryland, which provides services to trans and gender-diverse children.

There’s scant research available on how likely it is for a prepubescent child to change their minds about their gender identity. But if a child still identifies as transgender once they reach puberty, they are much less likely to change, according to Dr. Jack Turban, a resident physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital, whose research focuses on the mental health of transgender and gender diverse youth.

Continue reading at:  https://www.businessinsider.com/transgender-treatment-felony-under-new-georgia-bill

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Doctors Could Face Criminal Charges for Treating Transgender Teens

More evidence that republicans are Nazi Scum.

From The New York Times:  https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/27/us/south-dakota-transgender.html

In South Dakota and other states, lawmakers are considering bills that would restrict access to hormone treatment and surgeries for young transgender people.

By Julie Bosman and Mitch Smith
Jan. 27, 2020

A “bathroom bill” to regulate the restroom choice of transgender people has failed in South Dakota. So has a bill that would have required high school athletes to play on a sports team according to their sex at birth, not their gender identity.

But it is a new year and a new legislative session, and a group of South Dakota lawmakers is trying to pass a new restriction on transgender teenagers that the lawmakers say would prevent unnecessary medical procedures.

The proposed law, which is expected to go up for a vote in the state’s House of Representatives on Monday, would bar doctors from prescribing hormones or puberty-blocking medication or performing transgender surgeries on anyone under the age of 16.

The bill has strong support from social conservatives in the Republican-controlled Legislature, who believe it would enforce a common-sense view: that transgender youths under 16 are too young to begin taking medication or hormones.

But rural libertarians, Democrats, transgender people and the medical community have lined up against it, saying that it would harm transgender teenagers who greatly benefit from those treatments, particularly puberty blockers. Doctors have been particularly appalled; they could face criminal charges and jail time for violating the new law, should it pass the Legislature and be signed by Gov. Kristi Noem, a Republican who has expressed concerns about it.

“I’ve heard ‘It interferes with parental rights,’ and that ‘doctor knows best,’” said Representative Lee Qualm, a Republican who is the House majority leader and a sponsor of the bill.

“I understand people can go a lot of ways on this,” Mr. Qualm said.

Of his constituents who have emailed him, he said, “it’s almost a 50-50 split.”

Representative Fred Deutsch, who introduced the bill, said he got the idea when he was surfing the internet last year. He said he had heard about people in other states who regretted transitioning from one gender to another, and wondered whether such treatments were offered in his state.

“I Googled ‘transgender medicine South Dakota’ and I found a handful of doctors, not many, that do the procedures,” said Mr. Deutsch, who also introduced the bathroom bill in 2016. “And that’s the genesis of the concept of this bill.”

Continue reading at:  https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/27/us/south-dakota-transgender.html

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RWW News: Rick Wiles Says The Antichrist Will Be Jewish

But we shouldn’t call them Nazis… Because?  Aww Fuck I don’t know.  If they walk like a Nazi and talk like a Nazi then call them what they are… Which is Nazis…

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Transwomen Beat Up Two Men Who Harrassed Them

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Friday Night Fun and Culture: James McMurtry

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Man charged with hate crime in death of transgender teen

BTW How come he wasn’t also charged with Statutory Rape as his victim was legally a minor?

From NBC News: https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/man-charged-hate-crime-death-transgender-teen-n1110216

David Bogdanov, 25, was charged with second-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Nikki Kuhnhausen.

By Associated Press
Jan. 3, 2020

VANCOUVER, WASH. — A judge on Thursday set bail at $750,000 for a man charged with a hate crime in the death of a transgender teenager.

Prosecutors had asked Clark County Judge David Gregerson to order no bail, or a minimum $6 million bail, for David Bogdanov, of Vancouver, but the judge said the lower amount was appropriate because Bogdanov has no prior criminal history.

Bogdanov, 25, was arrested Dec. 17 and charged with second-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Nikki Kuhnhausen.

Kuhnhausen disappeared June 6 and her remains were discovered in a remote area of Larch Mountain on Dec. 7 by someone gathering bear grass.

Prosecutors recently added a hate crime charge because they believe Bogdanov strangled Kuhnhausen after learning she was transgender, The Columbian newspaper reported.

A large crowd turned up for the bail hearing and rallied outside the courthouse to show support for Kuhnhausen’s family and to raise awareness of the dangers that face transgender youth. So many people attended the hearing that some had to watch the hearing from a second room through a closed-caption TV system.

Hundreds of people also attended a Dec. 20 vigil for the teen at Vancouver United Church of Christ in Hazel Dell.

In court documents, Vancouver police say Kuhnhausen and Bogdanov met in downtown Vancouver on June 6 and he and his brothers invited her to a bar for a drink. Bogdanov told detectives he gave her his coat because she was cold and after one drink, he let her keep what was left in a bottle of vodka before she returned home.

Kuhnhuasen did go home, but went out again to meet Bogdanov several hours later. At some point, court documents say, she told Bogdanov she was assigned male at birth.

In an Oct. 2 interview with police, Bogdanov said at that point he asked Kuhnhausen to get out of his van and he never saw her again.

He told detectives he was “shocked,” “uncomfortable,” and “really really disturbed” to learn that Kuhnhausen was transgender, according to the affidavit. Detectives wrote in court documents that they believe that is when Bogdanov killed the teen.

Continue reading at:  https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/man-charged-hate-crime-death-transgender-teen-n1110216

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Death of trans woman in vacant apartment shrouded in mystery

From The Washington Blade:  https://www.washingtonblade.com/2020/01/15/death-of-trans-woman-in-vacant-apartment-shrouded-in-mystery/

by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
January 15, 2020

The mother and sister of a transgender woman who was found shot to death in a vacant apartment building in Southeast D.C. on Dec. 30 strongly dispute speculation by police that a security guard fatally shot her after she allegedly fired a gun at the guard and another guard with him one day earlier in the same building.

D.C. police on Jan. 7 publicly identified the person found dead in the vacant three-story apartment building at 4273 Barnaby Road, S.E. as 26-year-old Lamont Penny of no fixed address. In a statement, police said investigators learned that Penny identified as a transgender woman and preferred the name of Mia Penny.

The statement identifying Penny as the decedent in the case came over a week after D.C. police announced that armed private security guards on Sunday, Dec. 29, at approximately 10:43 p.m. “came in contact with an armed, adult suspect” in the Barnaby Road apartment building.

After ordering the suspect to leave the building the suspect began to fire a handgun at the two guards, prompting one of the guards to fire back, police said in an earlier statement.

“Following the exchange of gunfire, the suspect fled from the security guards,” the Jan. 7 statement says. “MPD responded to the scene to secure the building and conduct a search, and were unable to locate the suspect,” according to the statement.

D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham told a news conference on Dec. 31 that D.C. police officers used a dog to help in the search for the suspect but were unsuccessful in finding the suspect inside the building. A police report says the exchange of gunfire took place on the third floor of the building “in what would possibly have been apartment 301.”

The Jan. 7 statement says that on Monday, Dec. 30, at about 4:51 p.m. D.C. police responded to a call from the same building for an unconscious person who was found to be suffering from gunshot wounds. D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services workers who also responded to the scene determined the person showed no signs of life, the statement says. It says the individual, later identified as Penny, was taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

The statement, which was released in the form of a press release, includes a photo of a handgun that police said was found near Penny’s body in the apartment building.

Tasha Penny, Mia Penny’s mother, and Emonie Penny, Mia Penny’s sister, told the Washington Blade in a phone interview on Jan. 6 that they don’t believe the gun belonged to Mia Penny. Both said Mia Penny never showed any inclination to have a gun and wouldn’t know how to use or shoot a gun.

“He doesn’t even know how to pull a trigger,” said Tasha Penny, who, along with Emonie Penny, refers to Mia Penny as her son Lamont but says she recognized and loved Mia as a transgender person who lived as a woman.

Continue reading at:  https://www.washingtonblade.com/2020/01/15/death-of-trans-woman-in-vacant-apartment-shrouded-in-mystery/

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My Pride Story | ep13 | Aviya Eschenazi

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TERFs claimed they were being censored, but they found a safe space in right-wing media in 2019

From Media Matters:  https://www.mediamatters.org/fox-news/terfs-claimed-they-were-being-censored-they-found-safe-space-right-wing-media-2019

Outlets like Fox News often feature trans-exclusionary radical feminists to demean trans people and cry censorship

Brianna January

Anti-trans activists known as trans-exclusionary radical feminists, or TERFs, spent 2019 complaining that media have “censored” and “silenced” them, but in reality, they were granted a large platform dozens of times throughout the year in right-wing media.

TERFs have historically opposed trans-inclusive measures and refused to accept the identities of trans folks. They identify as liberal or feminist, sometimes referring to themselves as “gender-critical” or “radical feminists,” and generally do not associate themselves with the term TERFs.

TERFs cry media censorship

TERFs have asserted that media outlets refuse to feature them and and their transphobia. For example, on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight, Kara Dansky complained that they are “generally subjected to a media blackout” and that “many of us cannot get a voice on this issue in most media.” Dansky is a board member of the TERF organization Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF).

WoLF member Julia Beck had previously mirrored this sentiment on the same program, saying, “Women have been speaking out about this for decades, but we have been effectively silenced. Many women, like myself, have been pushed out of spaces that we built, spaces that are intended to include us, simply because we acknowledge biological reality.” Beck was removed from Baltimore’s LGBTQ Commission in 2018 after other members became aware of her anti-trans positions.

TERFs have similarly claimed to be unfairly silenced and banned from social media platforms for their anti-trans rhetoric, and right-wing media often propagate these narratives. For example, Meghan Murphy, who founded the TERF blog Feminist Current, is suing Twitter after she was banned from the platform for intentionally misgendering trans people. Deadnaming is the act of calling a transgender person by the name given to them at birth which they no longer use or identify with, and it is a violation of Twitter’s hateful conduct policy.

Right-wing media widely covered Murphy’s lawsuit after she posted a YouTube video about the ban, with pieces in Quillette, The Federalist, National Review, The Daily Wire, Townhall, Spectator, LifeSiteNews, the Washington Examiner, and The Daily Caller.

Fox News gives TERFs a large cable platform to espouse anti-trans rhetoric

Fox News is a safe space for TERFs and elevates their anti-trans rhetoric to a large audience. In 2019, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson hosted TERFs at least four times to discuss trans people. He even offered Dansky an open invitation to his program, saying, “Boy, you’re always welcome on this show.”

Some notable appearances by TERFs on Carlson’s program in 2019 include the following:

Beck appeared on February 12 and pushed the thoroughly debunked myth that trans-inclusive policies will allow “predatory men … to gain access to women’s single-sex spaces” and threaten the safety of women.

Continue reading at: https://www.mediamatters.org/fox-news/terfs-claimed-they-were-being-censored-they-found-safe-space-right-wing-media-2019

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Bari Weiss: Jews Do Not Cause Anti-Semitism

The full text of Bari Weiss’s address to the “No Hate, No Fear” march

New York Times columnist Bari Weiss gave the following speech at the solidarity march today in New York. There were an estimated 25,000 people in attendance:

My name is Bari Weiss.

I am a proud American. I am a proud New Yorker. And I am a proud Jew.

I am not a Jew because people hate my religion, my people, and my civilization.

Not for a single moment does Jew-hatred, like the kind we are seeing in this city, make me a Jew.

I am a Jew because of the audacity and the iconoclasm of Abraham, the first Jew of all. The whole world was awash in idols and he stood alone to proclaim the truth: There is one God.

I am a Jew because my ancestors were slaves. And I am a Jew because the story of their Exodus from Egypt, their liberation from slavery, is a story that changed human consciousness forever.

I am a Jew because our God commands us to never oppress the stranger.

I am Jew because Ruth, the first convert to Judaism, told her mother-in-law Naomi, “your people will be my people and your god will be my god,” reminding us of the centrality of the Jewish people to Judaism.

I am a Jew because of Queen Esther, who understood that she had attained her royal position in order to save her people from destruction.

I am a Jew because the Maccabees were the original resistance. Because they modeled for us — and for all peoples — how to resist the temptation of self-erasure.

I am a Jew because when Rabbi Akiva was being tortured to death by the Romans he laughed. He laughed and he told his students that he could finally fulfill the commandment to love God with all of his being.

I am a Jew because even after the heart of Judaism and Jewish sovereignty were destroyed my people refused to accept the logic of history and disappear. And I am a Jew because some of our greatest renewals took place in exile.

I am a Jew because my people has been targeted and despised and murdered by the Nazis and Soviets.

I am a Jew because evil hates my people.

I am a Jew because because my people managed to turn destruction into redemption by returning to their land after 2,000 years.

I am a Jew because our Founders saw themselves as new Israelites.

I am a Jew because the biblical words on the liberty bell — proclaim liberty throughout the land! — rang out from the righteous mouths of this country’s abolitionists as they fought for universal freedom in this New Jerusalem.

I am a Jew because it was Emma Lazarus who etched the biblical injunction to welcome the stranger onto the consciousness of America when she wrote the words: “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

I am a Jew because of the martyred of Tree of Life and Chabad of Poway and Jersey City. And I am a Jew because of the courage of those who fought back in Monsey and who then, immediately after the attack, gathered together to sing. And I am Jew because my brothers and sisters in Crown Heights and Boro Park and Williamsburg who refuse to hide their Judaism.

I am a Jew because of students across this country who refuse to be smeared and denigrated because of who they are, who are standing up against humiliation, pressure and abuse to affirm the justness of Zionism.

I am a Jew because my brothers and sisters in England and France are battling the anti-Semitism of populist thugs and the anti-Semitism of politicians in parliament.

I am a Jew because I refuse to stay silent in the face of injustice. I am a Jew because I have no patience for leaders who speak boldly while failing to take the actions necessary to protect our community. Or for partisan hacks that claim anti-Semitism is the exclusive domain of their political opponents. Or for leaders who believe they can fight Jew-hatred while making political alliances with anti-Semites.

I am a Jew because I refuse to lie.

I am a Jew because Jews are of every color and class and politics and language. And I am a Jew because hatred of us has no color or class or politics or language.

I am a Jew because Jews do not cause Jew hatred. Ever.

Today, as in so many times in history, there are many forces in the world insisting that Jews must disappear or die. Some say it bluntly. Some cloak it in the language of progress.

But I am a Jew because of I know that there is force far greater than that. And that is the force of who we are and the force of our world-changing ideas.

The Jewish people were not put on Earth to be anti-anti-Semites. We were put on Earth to be Jews.

We are the people whose God never slumbers or sleeps, and so neither can we.

We are the lamp-lighters.

We are the ever-dying people that refuses to die.

The people of Israel lives now and forever.

Am Yisrael Chai.

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Media’s ‘detransition’ narrative is fueling misconceptions, trans advocates say

From NBC News:  https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/media-s-detransition-narrative-fueling-misconceptions-trans-advocates-say-n1102686

They say the current narrative makes “transition regret” seem more common than it is and contributes to misconceptions about transgender people in general.

By Liam Knox
Dec. 19, 2019

In early October, the United Kingdom’s SkyNews ran a story about the “Detransition Advocacy Network,” a new charity founded by Charlie Evans, a former transgender man who detransitioned in 2018. Evans told SkyNews that “hundreds” of young trans people were seeking her help to return to their sex assigned at birth, and she said more resources are urgently needed for people experiencing post-transition regret.

“I’m in communication with 19- and 20-year-olds who have had full gender reassignment surgery who wish they hadn’t, and their dysphoria hasn’t been relieved, they don’t feel better for it,” Evans told SkyNews. “They don’t know what their options are now.”

Following SkyNews’ interview with Evans, news outlets across the U.K. and the United States covered the phenomenon of detransitioning. The BBC dedicated an hour to the topic on two of its flagship programs in late November, and right-wing outlets such as The Daily Wire and Breitbart covered the topic with an explicitly transphobic spin. New York magazine published a piece last month about another advocacy group for ex-trans people where one interviewee expressed concern that “many teenage women … have been convinced too quickly that the only solution is to change their sex.”

No one disputes that transition regret does exist and that there are trans people who return to the sex they were assigned at birth. However, trans advocates say some of the recent coverage around the topic portrays detransitioning as much more common than it actually is, fueling misconceptions about the gender transition process and painting trans people as just temporarily confused or suffering from a misdiagnosed psychological disorder. This misleading information, they say, can have serious real-world consequences, from misguided policy proposals to social stigma.

“I think the reason why detransition stories are popular in this given time is because it neatly fits into this idea that young people especially are being made to be trans,” Lui Asquith, a legal counselor for U.K.-based LGBTQ group Mermaids, told NBC News. “The media are conjuring up a panic about trans lives, and the first victims of that panic are the young people who are indirectly being told that they’re a phase.”

There are an estimated 1.4 million transgender adults in the U.S., according to the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, and the U.K.’s Government Equalities Office “tentatively” estimates there are between 200,000 and 500,000 trans people in Britain and Northern Ireland.

While the information regarding how many trans people detransition is sparse, those who work with the trans community say it is uncommon. “The actual numbers around them are significantly low,” Asquith said.

Continue reading at:  https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/media-s-detransition-narrative-fueling-misconceptions-trans-advocates-say-n1102686


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U.K. Voter Reform Plans Could Prevent Trans People From Voting

From Forbes:  https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamiewareham/2019/12/21/uk-voter-reform-plans-will-prevent-trans-people-from-voting/

Jamie Wareham
Dec 21, 2019

Boris Johnson’s electoral reform plans that will require a photo ID to vote could prevent trans people from voting, say campaigners.

The bill, first announced in the October Queen’s Speech and reintroduced this week, will make voters provide ID to get their ballot paper.

But the reform suggested and welcomed by the Electoral Commission is already facing opposition from disability, youth and trans campaigners.

Speaking to me, trans and non-binary activist Jamie Windust says:

“It’s a deterrence for many people, not just trans people, as it creates a level of hostility around our democratic right to vote.”

The reform aims to tackle voter fraud, where people impersonate others. A trial in this month’s election saw 800 people turned away from voting.

But the change could have a significant impact on trans people, unable to change their legal gender who present in the gender different from what they were assigned at birth.

“Many people, like myself, don’t have passports or ID because of the very reason that we are then forced into choosing a gender identity that isn’t correct.”

The electoral reform comes at a time of high hostility towards trans people, not least in the media.

This was highlighted this week when J.K. Rowling divided opinion again, in a now long running debate in the media about trans rights.

Rowling and was called a transphobe for siding with Maya Forstater who lost her job after an employment tribunal detailed she had shared transphobic material.

At the appeal, the judge ruled on the matter of being fired for holding anti LGBT+ opinions. Judge Tayler stated, no matter Forstater’s views, she doesn’t have the right to be transphobic.

However, Rowling’s tweet suggested the case was about whether it was OK to “force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real?” Adding “#IStandWithMaya

If Forstater had won the case, it would have set a landmark ruling preventing employers from dismissing staff expressing similar views about LGBT+ rights, as the Guardian reported.

Continue reading at:  https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamiewareham/2019/12/21/uk-voter-reform-plans-will-prevent-trans-people-from-voting/


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Sex-reassignment surgery yields long-term mental health benefits, study finds

From NBC News:  https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/sex-reassignment-surgery-yields-long-term-mental-health-benefits-study-n1079911

The longer ago a transgender person’s gender-affirming surgery, the less likely they are to suffer anxiety, depression or suicidal behavior, the study suggests.

By Reuters
Nov. 11, 2019

When transgender people undergo sex-reassignment surgery, the beneficial effect on their mental health is still evident — and increasing — years later, a Swedish study suggests.

Overall, people in the study with gender incongruence — that is, their biological gender doesn’t match the gender with which they identify — were six times more likely than people in the general population to visit a doctor for mood and anxiety disorders. They were also three times more likely to be prescribed antidepressants, and six times more likely to be hospitalized after a suicide attempt, researchers found.

But among trans people who had undergone gender-affirming surgery, the longer ago their surgery, the less likely they were to suffer anxiety, depression or suicidal behavior during the study period, researchers reported in The American Journal of Psychiatry.

Surgery to modify a person’s sex characteristics “is often the last and the most considered step in the treatment process for gender dysphoria,” according to the World Professional Association for Transgender Health.

Many transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals “find comfort with their gender identity, role, and expression without surgery,” but for others, “surgery is essential and medically necessary to alleviate their gender dysphoria,” according to the organization.

While the new study confirms that transgender individuals are more likely to use mental health treatments, it also shows that gender-affirming therapy might reduce this risk, coauthor Richard Branstrom of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm told Reuters Health by email.

Branstrom and colleague John Pachankis of the Yale School of Public Health in New Haven, Connecticut found that as of 2015, 2,679 people in Sweden had a diagnosis of gender incongruence, out of the total population of 9.7 million.

That year, 9.3 percent of people with gender incongruence visited a doctor for mood disorders, 7.4 percent saw a doctor for anxiety disorders and 29 percent were on antidepressants. In the general population, those percentages were 1 percent, 0.6 percent and 9.4 percent, respectively.

Just over 70 percent of people with gender incongruence were receiving feminizing or masculinizing hormones to modify outward sexual features such as breasts, body fat distribution and facial hair, and 48 percent had undergone gender-affirming surgery. Nearly all of those who had surgery also received hormone therapy.

The benefit of hormone treatment did not increase with time. But “increased time since last gender-affirming surgery was associated with fewer mental health treatments,” the authors report.

In fact, they note, “The likelihood of being treated for a mood or anxiety disorder was reduced by 8 percent for each year since the last gender-affirming surgery,” for up to 10 years.

Continue reading at:  https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/sex-reassignment-surgery-yields-long-term-mental-health-benefits-study-n1079911


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Wavy Gravy & Ace of Cups music video: “Basic Human Needs”

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Groundbreaking UW study: Transgender kids’ gender identity is as strong as that of cisgender children

From The Seattle Times:  https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/science/groundbreaking-uw-study-transgender-kids-gender-identity-is-as-strong-as-that-of-cisgender-children/

Dec. 9, 2019

Gender identity is as strong in transgender children as it is in cisgender children (those who identify with the gender they were assigned at birth), no matter how long a child has been treated as being a gender they don’t identify with, according to initial findings from a University of Washington study that is the largest of its kind.

The results bolster earlier UW research that has found transitioning doesn’t affect a transgender child’s sense of self.

The study also found that transgender children’s gender development mirrors that of cisgender kids.

For example, just as cisgender children tend to show interest in toys and clothes that society stereotypically associates with their gender, transgender children tend to do the same for things associated with the gender they identify as.

Even if a transgender boy’s family treated him as a girl for the first few years of his life, he will notice cues about what society expects of boys and “self-socialize” to learn how to “be” the gender he identifies as instead, said Selin Gülgöz, a postdoctoral researcher in UW’s psychology department and lead author of a paper about the study, which was published Nov. 18 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).

“These children have a very clear understanding of the things assigned to the sexes,” Gülgöz said. “But it looks like, once they identify their gender, they are gravitating toward what society shows them.”

There is nuance when it comes to the influence of stereotypes, Gülgöz noted. How much girls like traditionally feminine things can vary, for instance, but researchers found that variance occurs to about the same extent in transgender girls as in cisgender girls, she said.

The UW researchers studied 822 children from the United States and Canada — 317 transgender children between the ages of 3 and 12, 189 of their cisgender siblings and 316 other cisgender children as a control group — and will follow them into adulthood.

Gülgöz said this study differs from other large studies of transgender children because all the children in UW’s study have socially transitioned to their present gender. Those children’s experiences might be expected to differ from those of children who are gender-nonconforming but haven’t transitioned, she said.

Continue reading at:  https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/science/groundbreaking-uw-study-transgender-kids-gender-identity-is-as-strong-as-that-of-cisgender-children/

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Trump’s Rollback of Transgender Rights Extends Through Entire Government

From The New York Times:  https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/06/us/politics/trump-transgender-rights.html

Whether it means serving in the military, working for a federal contractor or seeking medical help, regulations that once protected transgender people are under attack.

By Lola Fadulu
Dec. 6, 2019

WASHINGTON — Nicolas Talbott, a graduate student at Kent State University in Ohio who is transgender, was told in May that because of President Trump’s transgender ban in the military, he would no longer be eligible for placement as an Army officer. He could continue participating in the Reserve Officers Training Corps program, but the benefits that he joined for — health insurance and student loan forgiveness — were no longer available to him.

“Everyone else would walk away with a job in the United States Army, and I would walk away with just more student loan debt,” Mr. Talbott said.

Mr. Talbott’s experience is just one version of a broader story unfolding across vast portions of the federal government as the Trump administration has rolled back a wide array of protections for transgender people, many of them put in place during the Obama administration. The Obama White House used its powers to declare that legal and legislative efforts to defend against sex discrimination should apply to gender identity. The Trump White House called that executive overreach — and reversed course wherever it could.

Across the country, transgender people and groups that are advocates for them have wrestled with the effect of that shift as they have learned of policy changes from the departments of Education and Labor to the departments of Health and Human Services and Housing and Urban Development, from the Pentagon to the Justice Department to the Office of Personnel Management.

Last month, a United States district judge struck down a Health and Human Services Department rule that would, among other changes, expand the protections for health care workers who refuse to treat transgender patients if it clashed with their beliefs, the third judge to do so.

But so many similar regulations are in place or pending that advocates for transgender rights are hardly relieved.

“We’ve been a priority for this administration since the day they got in the door,” said Gillian Branstetter, a former spokeswoman for the National Center for Transgender Equality, who is transgender.

Continue reading at:  https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/06/us/politics/trump-transgender-rights.html

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When Anti-Semites Come for the Orthodox, They Come for All of Us

As a child I learned that all bullies are the same.  Those they exercise bigotry towards may change but in many ways those abuse are also all the same.  Howard Fast wrote of the slave revolt in Rome, that was led by the gladiator named Spartacus.  When the rebellion was crushed the Roman soldiers demand to know which one of the survivors is Spartacus.  The survivors answer, “I am Spartacus.”

Then there is Tom Joad’s soliloquy at the end of “Grapes of Wrath”.

It is important to side with the bullied not the bully. The oppressed and not the oppressor. It is more important than ever to stand together and not be divided by our specific identities.  To make a stand and say. “I am Spartacus.”

When I started taking classes last fall as the first step in my converting to Judaism I started wearing a Magen David pendant.  My of saying as Ruth said long ago, “Your people shall be my people.”

From Kveller:  https://www.kveller.com/when-anti-semites-come-for-the-orthodox-they-come-for-all-of-us/

By Talia Liben Yarmush

As a mother, I’m no stranger to anxiety. Recently, I’ve been dealing with fears about my older son going to sleepaway camp for the first time next summer. I’ve found myself consumed by worry: Will he be too shy to make new friends? Will he stay up too late every night and get sick? Will he be homesick?

Then, in the midst of my anxiety, the news broke terrorists in Jersey City had intended to murder 50 Jewish children in their classrooms, just 30 minutes from my home. Then, two nights ago, a machete-wielding man attacked a Hanukkah celebration at a rabbi’s house in Monsey, New York, injuring five people. But that’s just the tip of it: Between these two horrific incidents, there were anti-Semitic attacks nearly every day in between.

I never was so scared before I became a mother. Now, it seems inescapable. The typical fears of motherhood are still there, they never really go away. Will my sons fit in with their peers? Will they treat others with kindness? Will their teachers recognize their potential? Will they look both ways before they cross the street? But now, on top of these “regular” worries, I must also ask myself, will my kids be targets of violent hatred simply because they are Jewish? Will they know where to hide when a terrorist arrives at their school?

Almost all of the attacks in recent weeks have been committed against people who are clearly identifiable as Jewish. They wear black hats and coats; their sidelocks curl and hang down to their jaw line; they cover their hair in sheitels and pillbox hats.

I’ve been told before, “But you’re not that kind of Jew.” Because I wear pants and tank tops and I don’t cover my hair. I listen to 90’s alternative rock. I can pass as merely “American.”

Years ago, on a cross-country youth trip, I once had to explain to a woman in South Dakota that yes, we are really Jews, and that no, Jews don’t really have horns. I was 14 years old, and it was the first time someone had looked at me as though I had classified myself incorrectly.

So yes, I may not be “that kind of Jew.” But my husband and my sons wear kippahs and tzitzit, which, to some, are akin to horns, and to all makes them more obvious targets.

And I do keep kosher — I have five sets of dishes, two sinks, and two dishwashers. I do put up a sukkah and have a mezuzah on every doorpost in our house. I walk to shul (when I go). I study Torah and write Midrash.

My husband does not wear a black hat and I have never owned a sheitel, but I own my Jewish name and I use it with pride.

I have never hidden who I am. My bios will tell you that I am a Jewish infertile mama. I am the daughter of a rabbi. I am a graduate of the Jewish day school system, where I met my husband, my beshert. I am a former leader of the Jewish Student Union on my college campus. I am the executive director of a Jewish nonprofit.

But still, I watch (a lot of) TV. I eat out at dairy restaurants and our kids swim and shower on Shabbat and we hand out candy on Halloween and we celebrate Thanksgiving. I am more comfortable in an egalitarian synagogue than one in which men and women are separated.

In other words, I’m not “that kind” of Jew.

And yet, when people remind me of that, it’s as if they’re saying it’s OK to target that kind of Jew. But it’s not OK, and I do worry, because I am that kind of Jew. And that’s not because you can spot the kippahs on my sons’ heads, but because I am a Jew at all. The very notion of “kinds of Jews” is what makes us vulnerable — we divide and they conquer.

Continue reading at:  https://www.kveller.com/when-anti-semites-come-for-the-orthodox-they-come-for-all-of-us/

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HRC Mourns Dustin Parker, Trans Man Killed in Oklahoma

From HRC:  https://www.hrc.org/blog/hrc-mourns-dustin-parker-trans-man-killed-in-oklahoma

By Elliott Kozuch
January 2, 2020

HRC is deeply saddened to learn of the death of Dustin Parker, a 25-year-old transgender man fatally shot in McAlester, Oklahoma, early on New Year’s Day. He was killed while working as a taxi cab driver. Parker is believed to be the first violent death of a transgender or gender non-conforming person in 2020.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is assisting local police in this investigation. Of the more than 150 known victims of anti-transgender violence from 2013 to present, approximately two-thirds of those killed were victims of gun violence.

“Rover Taxi is devastated at the loss of a member of our Rover family. Dustin was a steadfast friend, an amazing husband and father and generous to a fault. He loved fiercely, worked tirelessly and took on life with so much hope and enthusiasm that his presence brightened all of our lives,” said Parker’s employer in a statement. “His bright, young life was taken far too early. Please keep his loved ones in your thoughts as we all try to pull together to get through these difficult times. Dustin will be missed, but never forgotten.”

Parker was a founding member of Oklahomans for Equality-McAlester Chapter: Southeastern Equality, a local LGBTQ organization. The community will gather at a vigil to celebrate his life on Friday, Jan. 3.

HRC is also closely monitoring the death of a transgender woman in Washington, D.C. on December 29. Police have not released her name, as they are waiting to notify the next of kin.

In November, ahead of Transgender Day of Remembrance, HRC Foundation released “A National Epidemic: Fatal Anti-Transgender Violence in America in 2019,” a heartbreaking report honoring the trans people killed and detailing the contributing and motivating factors that lead to this tragic violence. Sadly, 2019 saw at least 25 transgender or gender non-conforming people fatally shot or killed by other violent means. We say at least because too often these stories go unreported — or misreported.

These victims are not just numbers or headlines. They were real people worthy of dignity and respect, of life and love.

There are currently very few explicit legal protections for transgender or gender-expansive people. Transgender and gender non-conforming people in Oklahoma are not explicitly protected across many aspects of daily life, including housing and employment, and are not covered under the state’s hate crimes legislation. Nationally, despite some marginal gains in state and local policies that support and affirm transgender people, recent years have been marked by anti-LGBTQ attacks at all levels of government.

We must demand better from our elected officials and reject harmful anti-transgender legislation appearing at the local, state and federal levels because it is clear that fatal violence disproportionately affects transgender women of color. The intersections of racism, transphobia, sexism, biphobia and homophobia conspire to deprive them of necessities to live and thrive.

HRC will continue to hold the Trump-Pence administration and all elected officials who fuel the flames of hate accountable at the ballot box.

This epidemic of violence that disproportionately targets transgender people of color — particularly Black transgender women — must cease.

For more information about HRC’s transgender justice work, visit hrc.org/Transgender.

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